By Sam Baker and Elise Viebeck - 09/25/13 10:50 PM EDT
Healthwatch has a detailed report on the rate information.
Bumps in the road, indeed: Washington, D.C.'s exchange announced some pretty serious delays on Wednesday. The D.C. exchange won't be ready on Oct. 1 to calculate eligibility for subsidies, or for Medicaid. Those are two central functions for the exchanges, and although D.C. said its exchange will still be open for business on Oct. 1, the delays mean that District residents won't be able to find out how much they would actually have to pay for coverage until November. That's still enough time to sign up, but it's not a good sign for the infrastructure of the exchanges.
Plug from Olivia Pope: Kerry Washington, star of ABC's "Scandal," promoted ObamaCare to her Twitter followers Wednesday. See the message here.
Today in the House: Republican leaders signaled that
they are ready to go one more round with the Senate instead of accepting
a clean continuing resolution without any GOP priorities this weekend.
Leaders are also expected to unveil a debt-limit plan with more demands
Thursday morning. The party's healthcare wish list is long, and
includes repealing ObamaCare's device tax, eliminating the law's fund for
prevention and public health, and shutting a loophole that allows states
to drive up the federal government's share of Medicaid spending. The
list also involves medical malpractice reform, cuts in federal payments
to certain hospitals and requiring wealthier seniors to pay more for
their Medicare beneficiaries.
Over in the Senate: Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) Talk-a-Thon ended at 12 p.m. after 21 hours, and the chamber proceeded to advance the House's stopgap government funding bill. The legislation defunds ObamaCare in its current form, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to strip out that provision in the next few days. Wednesday's procedural maneuverings came as both Democrats and Republicans rejected Cruz's approach. Democrats also sought to raise funds off his all-nighter speech, calling it "fear mongering."
ICYMI: Here's a rundown of our coverage of Cruz's speech and its aftermath: Cruz predicts Obama will grant union waiver ... Lee compares ObamaCare to a Barry Manilow album ... Cruz begins quoting 'Duck Dynasty' ... Cruz questions if ObamaCare is more like Freddy or Jason ... Cruz sees GOP vs. ObamaCare as rebel alliance vs. Darth Vader ... McCain criticizes Cruz for Nazi appeaser comparison ... House Dem calls Cruz filibuster a 'circus' ... White House: Obama didn't watch Cruz ... Cruz derides Senate as full of theater and show votes.
The show will go on: A government shutdown would not prevent the exchanges from enrolling customers, the Obama administration told reporters several times on Wednesday. "There may be some impacts ... but it does not go into the core of what we are doing," White House deputy senior advisers for communications and strategy David Simas said at a breakfast.
An administration official put it more bluntly on an afternoon call.
"We are full steam ahead," the official said. "The ACA is going forward along with the enrollment period. Period."
Plug from Jay Carney: White House press secretary Jay Carney said he would "absolutely" enroll in the marketplaces if he didn't have healthcare coverage. Read about his comment here.
How will Hispanics react? An administration official suggested that the GOP's anti-ObamaCare push could ultimately alienate Hispanics, a community that stands to benefit from the law and strongly favors Democrats over Republicans.
"The favorability for the law [among Hispanics] is high. Why? Because people are really, really interested in making sure they're covered," the official told reporters on a conference call. Read more at Healthwatch.
IRS & ObamaCare: The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) could do a better job tracking the costs — both direct and indirect — of implementing ObamaCare, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said in a report released Wednesday. The audit highlighted deficiencies in how the IRS is tracking direct labor costs associated with the rollout as well as indirect costs, such as providing employees working on ObamaCare with workspace. Read the report here.
Confusion: State-level activists working to promote ObamaCare are encountering severe confusion among the public with less than a week until the new insurance exchanges open for enrollment.
"We have our work cut out for us," said Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack on a call with reporters. "We are by no means at a point where enough people know about this."
Healthwatch has more from the call.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will promote the Affordable Care Act in Dallas.
America's Health Insurance Plans will continue its 2013 Medicaid conference in Washington, D.C. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Deputy Administrator Cindy Mann will speak.
The Senate Health subcommittee on Children and Families will hold a hearing on the importance of newborn screenings.
State by state
Wisconsin's Walker: State has plan to cover uninsured if ObamaCare delayed
CEOs say Perry's Medicaid plan doesn't fix problem of uninsured
NH Medicaid panel to discuss plan next week
Medical-device makers see EU rules slowing US approvals
Medicare's lessons for the Affordable Care Act
ObamaCare incentives slow hospitals' revolving door
New healthcare options for young adults in 2014
What you might have missed on Healthwatch
Vatican official: Pelosi should be denied communion for 'grave sin' on abortion
Senate Dems demand energy drink companies stop marketing to kids
TV ad blasts GOP for ObamaCare vote, possible shutdown
Perry: ObamaCare defunding effort 'a bit nonsensical'
Public health groups back Obama's 94-cent cigarette tax hike
Within Senate GOP, frustration with Cruz
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Sam Baker: firstname.lastname@example.org / 202-628-8351 / @sam_baker
Elise Viebeck: email@example.com / 202-628-8523 / @eliseviebeck